Mobile App Design Rules
Most digital agencies appreciate living in a cocoon. They are afraid to let their clients know which are the best practices they follow, or which are the methods they swear by.
We believe in a different approach. We want you to have access to the info that matters, becoming ready to understand what are the tools we use to craft unforgettable mobile app designs.
Mobile app design has become something huge.
In fact, mobile app design is now one of the landmark techniques that help mobile app development reach exciting new heights. Even so, it might be hard to understand what are the very best tools that can allow you to hone new skills and create aesthetically appealing designs, ensuring your app takes both user experience and full-blown engagement into account.
Want to dive into an updated list of the best tools you’ll need to guarantee you rule the world of mobile app design in the future? By reading this expanded post, you’ll be able to learn what is mobile app development, mobile app design, and what are the top 8 mobile app design tools you’ll need to succeed.
At ALTA, we use these tools on a daily basis to craft our designs so get ready to have inside access and pay attention!
What is Mobile App Development?
Mobile app development is basically the process or action through which a specific mobile application is developed for different mobile devices, like mobile phones, personal digital assistants, etc. Mobile apps can actually be pre-installed on particular phones throughout manufacturing platforms, and they can also be delivered as concrete web apps which use client-side or server-side processing to get to provide a similar experience with a web browser.
Apart from the complexity involved in this whole process, app development masters must be able to take different hardware specifications, screen sizes, and configurations into consideration, since daily changes are an integral part of the mobile app world.
What are the biggest challenges of mobile app development?
Pay attention to the bullet points below and get to check the biggest challenges in mobile app development:
- Creating an app that actually gets noticed, since there are a plethora of different mobile apps
- Building apps that take advantage of perfect UX/UI
- Creating an app which has a clean architecture
- Paying attention to the users’ comments and feedback
- Focusing on the retention rate at all times
- Never forgetting about branding, marketing, and promoting the app
A great mobile app can radically improve a company’s reputation and raise awareness like nothing else.
The best mobile apps in the world can help companies improve efficiency, offer high scalability, take customer relationships to new heights as well as make new customer data gathering much easier, ensuring businesses stay ahead of the curve.
Mobile Applications: Stats
Ready to get some mobile app stats that are going to let you know just how insanely popular apps have become in this world?
Here’s the list of mobile app stats you need to know about:
- There are more than 2.7 billion smartphone users all over the globe
- There are 1.35 billion users of tablets on planet Earth
- By 2020, mobile apps will be generating a whopping $189 billion in revenue
- The average user of mobile apps engages with 30 apps on a monthly basis
- 57% of all the known digital media actually comes straight out of mobile apps
- 21% of Millennials open apps more than 50 times every single day
- App Store has got 2.2 million apps
- Google Play Store lets you take advantage of 2.8 million apps
Now that we know how incredibly awesome mobile apps have become, it’s time to find out more about mobile app design.
What is Mobile App Design?
Mobile app design refers to the process of designing particular mobile applications. Although mobile apps have a wide array of different uses, the accessibility, user experience, ability to engage, and the need for optimal usability seem to be crucial factors that come into play when it comes to the design.
If designers are able to fully address all the specific topics mentioned above, they’ll be able to create enriching - and addictive - apps that manage to enthrall worldwide users.
Here’s what you need to consider when giving mobile app design a try:
- Operating systems: mobile apps take advantage of the particular operating system’s specific features
- Responsive design, inasmuch as mobile apps will be utilized by users who have different mobile devices
- Android Vs iOS design. Each of these app kingdoms will present different challenges, principles, and guidelines
- Mobile hardware, since apps can get access to more complex hardware, such as fingerprint-maintained security sensors
- Device resolutions, because different operating systems will require diverse resolutions
Now that you know all about mobile app development and mobile app design, it’s time for you to get the top 8 tools you’ll need to take mobile app design further!
These are the platforms we use to conceptualize, create and edit the designs we ignite here at ALTA so pay attention and explore these phenomenal mobile app design tools!
Top 8 Mobile App Design Tools
BuildFire is an application creator for both Android and iOS. Using this amazing tool, you’ll get to craft cost-effective mobile apps faster than ever before.
This tool actually offers you the chance to go all-in on customized app development, entertainment, media, universities, schools, and employee communication.
Why should you get hold of BuildFire?
Here’s a list of BuildFire advantages:
- Comes with both cache facilities and cloud storage which will allow you to manage PDF files, audio, and videos
- It’s got an easy DIY platform that can create high-quality custom development
- Supports over 10,000 apps
- It’s both flexible and powerful, allowing you to scale up and easily meet your business goals
- Has push notifications, plug-in access, tagging, user management, analytics, service level agreements, etc.
- Allows you to design app dashboards, archive data, get amazing insights, manage marketplaces and web apps
How much will you be paying to get to use this impeccable design tool?
Here’s the monthly pricing:
- Basic ($59)
- Professional ($149)
- Business ($499)
InVision is a digital product design platform that’s powering user experiences all over the globe, taking interactive UI/UX prototypes to a whole new level.
Created for designers by designers, InVision is a unique prototyping tool. In fact, it actually allows you to easily craft interactive mockups for all your designs.
Making sure presenting designs is easy and simple, InVision allows you to talk about the mockup right inside the app by ensuring you can leave comments which are connected to a specific point on the screen.
Here’s why you should give InVision a try:
- Get to directly upload a project you’re doing
- Update, leave comments and make sure the client is informed at all times
- Categorize all your projects in a single screen - go for the private portfolio to ensure everything is sharp and organized
- You can upload designs taking advantage of the integrated Craft plugin
- Allows Front-End specialists to access assets and design styles with the “inspect” tab
- The boards provide awesome inspiration
- Clear boards that allow you to take branding and logo efforts to new levels
- The Photoshop integration allows you to provide developers with pixel-sharp information when it comes to design elements
How much will you be paying to use this mobile app design tool?
Here’s the pricing of InVision:
- Free ($0)
- Starter ($15)
- Professional ($25)
- Team ($99)
- Enterprise (special prices depending on your needs)
Thought there’d be a post on mobile app design tools that didn’t mention Sketch? Not going to happen!
Sketch is actually a MacBook-based UX/UI tool that’s a clear favorite of app designers the world over. Mainly used for app prototyping, Sketch has actually got one of the highest shares when it comes to the prototyping and wireframe realm.
What are the advantages of diving into Sketch?
- You can draw once and export at different resolutions
- It allows you to master pixel alignment and snapping
- Helps you go for repeatable text styles on your software for you to craft one type of body copy and use it in different spots
- Makes sharing your work easy
- Simple to export to SVG
- Allows you to pick the eyedropper and choose any color you want. You can also pull any color from a specific web page
- Sketch Mirror lets you mirror your design into different devices
What’s the pricing?
- Personal License ($99)
- Volume License - 2 devices ($89 per device)
4. Adobe Experience Design (XD)
This is the vector-based tool that’s been developed and published by Adobe. Used for prototyping and designing user experiences for both mobile and web apps, Adobe Experience Design allows you to create simple interactive prototypes like nothing else.
The main advantages of using Adobe Experience Design?
Here you go:
- Easy to use, since the learning curve is almost non-existent
- Allows you to take advantage of other Adobe tools and products in a seamless manner
- It’s catching up to Sketch’s dominant power and has got more than 12 million Creative Cloud users
- It has a clean interface, with less functionality
- It’s simple to use when you fill UI with content
- Awesome prototyping features that won’t force you to add extra services or plugins to create a hi-fi prototype
- The resizing feature is better and easier than what you’ll find in Sketch
Here’s the pricing you need to bear in mind.
- Starter ($0)
- Single App ($9.99)
- Creative Cloud - All Apps ($52.99)
- Starter ($0)
- Single App - Teams ($22.99 per user)
- Creative Cloud - All Apps - Teams ($79.99)
Marvel is the famous all-in-one platform that’s powering design.
Need to bring new ideas to life, transform the way you create digital products, and take part in the Journey of Transformation using creative technology like never before? Then it’s time to give Marvel a try.
Here are Marvel’s cool advantages:
- Both the flexibility and the usability of this software when it comes to mobile app development
- Easy to create app page design
- The prototype looks remarkably similar to the actual page
- Easy to learn
- Amazing experience
- Has got neat plugins for both Photoshop and Sketch
- User-friendly and super-intuitive interface
- Dynamic image handling
How much will you need to spend on Marvel per month?
- Free ($0)
- Pro ($12)
- Team ($42)
- Team Plus ($84)
6. Origami Studio
A great interface design tool that’s been developed by the awesome engineers at Facebook?
The tool that was used to design Instagram and Facebook Messenger? Yes, indeed!
Available for free, Origami Studio is quite a complex tool that never fails to offer a remarkable set of different functionalities.
Ready to check Origami Studio’s advantages?
Here they are:
- A pretty great array of native Android and iOS components
- Based on visual programming language, which means there’s no actual coding
- Amazing support for a host of mobile OS features such as camera, microphone, vibration, accelerometer, gyroscope, etc.
- No need to save and build - the preview window is always open which means you can see your prototype while working on it
- Lets you record the screen, which means you can explain certain parts and show the project more seamlessly than before
Balsamiq is the name of the game and a tool that actually helps you wireframe super-easily.
Happen to be searching for a specific tool that can help you out when it comes to the creation of wireframes? Look no further: Balsamiq is the way to go.
Ready for these juicy advantages?
Check them out:
- Balsamiq is a hosted web app, which means it’s actually a community-driven spot
- Great versioning and iteration tools, which allow you to save a wireframe in versions, tracking UI changes like it’s no big deal
- Awesome for collaboration efforts
- Has got many different versions, such as Google Drive-based, Jira-compatible, web, desktop, etc.
What’s the pricing?
You’ve got three different options:
- 2 projects ($9/month or $90/year)
- 20 projects ($49/month or $490/year)
- 200 projects ($199/month or $1,990/year)
This is a prototyping and wireframe tool that’s been designed to allow you to build different wireframes for wearables, mobile, and the web. It helps you check planning processes as well as build and test drive interactions.
If you want to be able to both create and share interactive prototypes with your clients and team, this is the tool you need to check.
Here are the advantages you should focus on:
- Super easy-to-use
- Designed taking a low learning curve into account
- This tool offers free tutorials, documentation, a great support team and even live webinars
- Has got more than 2.000 different elements, UI widgets, and icons, showcasing one of the most comprehensive element libraries around
- Optimized for mobile. You can edit, check and test the work you create in any specific mobile device. You can leave comments and page notes too
- Easy to invite co-workers and collaborate faster than ever
- Rapid interactive prototyping and wireframing
- Setup costs don’t exist
- It runs everywhere, 24/7
What’s the monthly pricing?
- Group ($13)
- Team ($27)
- Agency ($54)
- Enterprise (special prices depending on your needs)
Web Design Has Never Been Cooler
With the ability to shape and change the web designs of the future and supercharge the Journey of Transformation like never before, each of these inspired tools can be used to make incredible work that takes the user experience to new levels and your engrossing abilities to new heights.
By checking these different tools, you’ll be able to see what works best for you and your team, monitor your progress every single day, and be able to create something truly extraordinary to boot.
Moreover, you’ll know you’ll be using tools that are the bread and butter of ALTA’s talented Design Team.
Are you a designer who’s just starting out?
Feel like putting these tools to the test? Let us know what you make of this list in the comment section below!